10 Best Kayak Trolling Motors + Buying Guide [2022 Update]


Updated on August 29, 2022 by

This article will highlight the best kayak trolling motors that are available on the market at the moment as well as a buying guide so that you can make an educated buying decision.

Have you ever been on a long kayak trip, sweat in your eyes, sore muscles, and realized that you are only halfway? Then I am sure you have had the thought – I wish I could put a motor on this!

Well you can – plenty of companies now make electric trolling motors specifically designed to be mounted onto a kayak.

Fishing kayaks are a great tool for any keen angler, no matter whether you are going bass fishing or trout fishing, particularly after you have strapped an electric motor onto the back. This can be done through a variety of options of motor mount. I am a big fan of using a trolling motor, especially when you intend to travel long distances to your fishing spot.

This article is to give you an overview on all of the key attributes you should be considering before purchasing a kayak trolling motor. This is in the form of a buyer’s guide where I will cover everything you need to know.

We will also go through the 10 best kayak trolling motors available on the market along with their pros and cons. 

So let’s jump in.

Quick Summary – Best Kayak Trolling Motors

Preview
Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (42" Shaft)
Best Value for Money
AQUOS White Haswing 12V55LBS 48inch Electric Bow Mount Trolling Motor with Remote Control, Wired...
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED...
Power
40-80 lbs
55 lbs
36 lbs
Number of Forward Speeds
5
2
5
Number of Reverse Speeds
3
2
3
Shaft Length
30-42"
48"
24"
Preview
Minn Kota Endura C2 55 Freshwater Transom Mounted Trolling Motor (42" Shaft)
Power
40-80 lbs
Number of Forward Speeds
5
Number of Reverse Speeds
3
Shaft Length
30-42"
More Information
Best Value for Money
Preview
AQUOS White Haswing 12V55LBS 48inch Electric Bow Mount Trolling Motor with Remote Control, Wired...
Power
55 lbs
Number of Forward Speeds
2
Number of Reverse Speeds
2
Shaft Length
48"
More Information
Preview
Newport Vessels Kayak Series 36lb Thrust Transom Mounted Saltwater Electric Trolling Motor w/ LED...
Power
36 lbs
Number of Forward Speeds
5
Number of Reverse Speeds
3
Shaft Length
24"
More Information

Kayak Trolling Motor Buyer’s Guide
Explaining Shimano Fishing Reel Tec...
Explaining Shimano Fishing Reel Technologies [2022 Update]

There are a few key things you need to know before selecting your trolling motor, and it all depends on your requirements and where you will be travelling.

Some of the attributes I will be covering include the Power, Size, Speed, Noise, and its Mounting Bracket.

Power

The power of your trolling motor is important if you intend to have a heavily loaded kayak. This is particularly useful if you are doing multi day trips and will be fully loaded with camping gear, coolers, and food.

Keep in mind that the higher power will also draw more from your deep cycle marine battery. You will need to consider both of these when picking your options. You may even need to look at backup or secondary batteries if you select an extremely powerful motor and running it at full speeds for extended periods.

Power is measured in terms of pounds of thrust and we have split up the available range into low, medium, and high power:

  • Low Power – 20 lbs of thrust
  • Medium Power – 50 lbs of thrust
  • High Power – 80 lbs of thrust

I generally recommend going for a high amount of power than you expect to use. You may not need it, but it is nice to know that it is there just in case. This is especially important if you are fishing somewhere that is tidal or other environmental conditions that can blow you off course.

Speed

The top speed for a trolling motor is really not the point. You will only use it when travelling from one fishing spot to another.

The real important part of the speed is whether you can select the speed you actually want.

Some trolling motors have only two speeds while others have up to five. Depending on your lure selection you may need to be travelling in between these speed selections. I hate not being able to run my crankbait at the correct speed. Having control over your speed is important if you are switching between deep diving lures and fast moving spinners.

Take this into consideration when making your selection.

Noise

Quiet is king.

If you are fishing for skittish species then you will want to make sure you get the quietest model available. This will enable you to move from spot to spot quickly without scaring off anything in between.

The speed of the propeller and the quality of construction of the bearings and housing can contribute to excess noise.

The number of forward and reverse speeds also contributes to your ability to set the exact speed your require and so avoid going too fast and creating too much noise.

Remember, that the noise underwater goes further and is louder than noise in the air. 

Mounting Bracket

There are a number of different mounting brackets available, but most have a clamp arrangement. This option really depends on what mounting is available on your particular brand of kayak. You will have to select the right motor mount depending on whether you have a ocean kayak or a wider fishing kayak.

There are also accessories available that can help to mount your trolling motor onto virtually anything. Brands like Minn Kota have a wide range of accessories and brackets to get you through almost any mounting issues.

Kayak Trolling Motor Video

Just to give you a quick overview about how to install and use an electric trolling motor to a sit on top kayak, then have a look at this video below:

10 Best Kayak Trolling Motors

1. AQUOS Haswing Bow Mount Trolling Motor

Bestseller No. 1

My Impressions

The AQUOS Haswing trolling motor is a brilliant entry level option. It does not have the same features or quality of construction as the Minn Kota, but it will certainly get the job done.

The motor can be adjusted between 0 and 90 degrees. This means you can get it out of the water but you can’t use it in shallow waters.

It also has two forward and two reverse speeds. This can be problematic if you are trying to pick a specific speed for trolling with your lures.

Pros

  • Good value for money
  • Folding handle

Cons

  • Only 2 forward speeds might not give enough control options
  • Can only be adjusted between 0 and 90 degrees
  • Only provides 20 lbs of thrust

2. Newport Vessels Kayak Series Trolling Motor

ON SALE $50.14 OFFBestseller No. 1

My Impressions

A great middle level option is the Newport Vessels. It comes with a 2 year warranty to protect you from any damage in the future. 

Although it is rated for saltwater the head is not waterproof and is not suitable for heavy rain.

It comes with extra long battery cables which gives you more flexibility for placement of your 12 volt battery.

The shaft angle is also adjustable so you can travel through shallow waters.

Pros

  • 2 Year Manufacturers Warranty
  • Made in USA
  • LED Battery Indicator

Cons

  • Not suitable for heavy rain
  • Only gives 1.5 hours at full speed

3. Minn Kota Endura Transom Mount Trolling Motor

Bestseller No. 1

My Impressions

If there is one brand that it famous for high quality electric trolling motors it is Minn Kota. If you can afford the price tag, then you cannot go wrong with this product.

It also comes in various length shafts and power ratings, so make sure you pick the right options for your requirements. 

The angle is also incredibly adjustable compared with the other options so you can still use it in shallow water.

Pros

  • Minn Kota are renowned for high quality
  • Extremely strong and well constructed materials
  • Adjustable speed and power outputs

Cons

  • More expensive than other options
  • You need to select the correct size for your requirements

4. Cloud Mountain Saltwater Trolling Motor for Kayak

When it comes to finding a solid trolling motor that’s both ruggedly durable and made to handle saltwater environments, it’s hard to beat the Cloud Mountain Saltwater Trolling Motor for Kayak. This trolling motor is relatively inexpensive compared to some of the other top models we have on our list, but it’s main selling point is that it’s specially designed to withstand the corrosive properties of saltwater. Cloud Mountain manufactures these trolling motors with various components that are made to be used in saltwater or freshwater. 

My Impressions

It features a 28-inch shaft that’s made of composite fiberglass material, which is the best material to have when it comes to frequent use in saltwater environments. The Cloud Mountain Saltwater Trolling Motor is also designed with a reinforced nylon bracket that provides outstanding stability so the motor won’t loosen as you’re moving through the ocean, which can sometimes have rough waters that often damage these components. 

The ergonomic handle of the Cloud Mountain Saltwater Trolling Motor is very easily adjusted to match the height of any user. The motor features 8 different speed settings that include 5 forward speed levels and three reverse speed settings. It also offers a battery life display that helps you easily keep track of how much juice you have while you’re on the water so you can adequately plan to make it back to the launch site with enough power left, which is crucial for kayak anglers that travel a few miles offshore. 

You can purchase the Cloud Mountain Saltwater Trolling Motor in a variety of different thrust powers that include 36, 40, 46, 50, 55, 60, 86 pound models. 

Pros:

  • Capable of being used in saltwater or freshwater 
  • Adjustable shaft and handle
  • Battery life indicator
  • Stainless steel hardware inside the motor 
  • 8 different speed settings

Cons:

  • Some parts are made of plastic and are susceptible to saltwater corrosion
  • Must be controlled by hand, which can be tiresome when used to travel long distances

5. Saturn 55 Lb. Short Shaft Trolling Motor

Sometimes it’s better to have a shorter trolling motor shaft so you can rest-assured that you will be less likely to strike any underwater objects as you’re moving across the lake or river. The Saturn 55 Lb. Short Shaft Trolling Motor is a powerful option that is made with a more compact, 26-inch shaft that’s ideal for fishing in more shallow water. It features the standard 8 different speed settings that include 5 forward and 3 reverse, as well as a solid 55 lbs of thrust. 

My Impressions

This one can also be used in saltwater, but the manufacturer recommends that users thoroughly wash the motor from top to bottom after any saltwater outings in order to avoid potential saltwater corrosion. Compared to other trolling motors used for kayaks, this one is particularly lightweight and easy to carry along with all your other gear since it’s also compact in size. 

The Saturn 55 Lb. Short Shaft Trolling Motor runs with a standard 12V battery that has a 50 Amp max draw. It comes with a 1-year warranty and is a great option for anglers who are looking for a more affordable trolling motor for their kayak. 

Pros:

  • Can be used in freshwater or saltwater 
  • Compact and lightweight design 
  • Decent battery life 

Cons:

  • Some durability concerns 

6. Goplus Electric Trolling Motor 

The Goplus Electric Trolling Motor is another great option for anglers who are seeking a more budget-friendly trolling motor for their kayak that will provide them plenty of power and battery life to get them around lakes, rivers or coastal waters. The Goplus model is slightly larger than the Saturn trolling motor that we have in our No. 5 position. You can purchase this trolling motor in three different thrust power options that include a 46, 55, and 86 pound option. 

My Impressions

Many anglers report that this trolling motor is exceptionally quiet compared to other options that are available in the same price range. The Goplus Electric Trolling Motor features a telescopic handle that can be extended out an additional 6 inches, as well as the standard 8 speed format that offers 5 forward speeds and 3 reverse speeds. 

The shaft is made of durable fiberglass material while the actual motor is made of stainless steel parts that are very tough and capable of withstanding saltwater exposure. The propeller head is made of aluminum, but the blades are made of plastic, which is something many users consider to be a downside compared to other trolling motors. Some users have complained that they’ve experienced issues with the trolling motor’s gear system. 

Pros:

  • Can be used in saltwater or freshwater
  • Telescopic handle 
  • Decent battery life 

Cons:

  • Plastic prop blades
  • Issues with gears 

7. Watersnake T18S 24-Inch Asp Motor

Bestseller No. 1

Watersnake is another highly-reputable brand in the fishing industry that is known for producing great-quality trolling motors that are well-suited for kayaks. The Watersnake T18S 24-Inch Asp Motor is a model that we could probably have higher on our list, but it shares many of the same qualities as a few of the options we’ve already listed. Nevertheless, this is an outstanding quality compact trolling motor that’s ideal for using with any type of kayak, inflatable boat or other small vessel. 

My Impressions

The shaft is made from heavy-duty aluminum alloy, but this makes it slightly heavier than most other fiberglass or composite material shafts. It’s made with a more lightweight propeller that’s smaller and quieter than most other trolling motors that offer the same amount of thrust. The trolling motor draws its name from the fact that Watersnake makes its products with the intention of being stealthy and quick, much like an actual watersnake. 

Pros:

  • Lightweight and compact 
  • Quieter than other models 
  • Affordable 

Cons:

  • Only comes in two models that offer 18 or 24 lbs of thrust

8. Minn Kota PowerDrive Trolling Motor

ON SALE $50.00 OFFBestseller No. 1

The Minn Kota PowerDrive Trolling Motor is another excellent quality trolling motor that is compatible with kayak. This one is likely to be too powerful for some compact and lightweight kayaks, but for anglers who prefer to load their kayak down with a hefty load of gear, the PowerDrive provides an ample 70 pounds of thrust to get them where they need to go on the water. 

My Impressions

This trolling motor comes with a 60-inch shaft, which is more than enough for any kayak. While many anglers might worry about having a longer shaft and the potential for damaging it by running into any underwater objects, Minn Kota designed the shaft to be crafted out of exceptionally durable composite material. Like other Minn Kota models, this one is very quiet and powerful with a specially-designed Weedless Wedge 2 propeller that’s made to push away weeds and other debris without using too much extra power in the process. 

Pros:

  • i-Pilot system with autopilot setting
  • Universal sonar 2
  • Very powerful
  • 2-year warranty

Cons:

  • Expensive 
  • Might be too much power for most kayaks

9. Haswing Protruar Electric Kayak Trolling Motor

For anglers concerned with having a trolling motor that affords them exceptionally long battery life, the Haswing Protruar Electric Kayak Trolling Motor is an outstanding choice. This model features a highly-adjustable ergonomic handle that makes it easy for the user to control the direction and speed of the kayak. 

My Impressions

The Haswing Protruar Electric Kayak Trolling Motor can be purchased in a variety of different shaft lengths, including a longer 35.5-inch model that’s made of durable aluminum alloy, as well as a composite shaft that measures 25.4 inches. The 110 pounds of thrust is the main reason my kayak anglers select the Protruar as it is ideal for propelling larger kayaks that are loaded down with larger users or a heavy amount of gear. 

The Haswing Protruar Electric Kayak Trolling Motor comes with a mounting bracket that easily clips and fastens to the transom of any kayak, or it can also be attached to the side of most kayak models. This trolling motor can be used in both freshwater or saltwater as many of the motor and its components are designed to withstand the corrosive properties of saltwater, especially when used over the course of many years. 

Pros:

  • Adjustable ergonomic handle 
  • 110 pounds of thrust 
  • Great battery life 
  • Long or short shaft options
  • Can be adjusted depending on water depth

Cons:

  • Runs off of heavier 24V battery
  • Heavier than most other models 

10. Watersnake T24 ASP Electric Saltwater Trolling Motor

Bestseller No. 1

The Watersnake T24 ASP Electric Saltwater Trolling Motor is arguably the most popular trolling motor for kayaks among average anglers in today’s fishing industry. There are plenty of reasons to like this one as it is especially small and compact, making it easy to handle and transport without adding too much extra weight. 

My Impressions

The T24 ASP operates using a standard 12V battery and also comes in two different models—a 24 pound thrust and an 18 pound thrust. Both of these are ideal for kayak fishing as they don’t cause too much water disturbance and are exceptionally quiet compared to virtually any other trolling motor model on the market today. 

It comes with an adjustable 24-inch shaft that allows you to adjust the height of the handle, as well as the depth of the propeller. The T24 ASP has an easy-to-use interface that has an on/off switch, as well as a forward/reverse switch. This one also comes with a mounting bracket that’s specially designed to fit on virtually any model kayak. The entire trolling motor weighs less than 5 pounds in all, which makes this one extremely easy to handle and highly portable. 

Pros:

  • Compact and lightweight 
  • Choose between an 18 and 24 pound thrust option
  • Easy to handle 
  • Extremely quiet 

Cons:

  • Lacks the amount of power needed for heavy kayaks
  • Some durability issues 

Conclusion

That brings me to the end of this look at fishing kayak trolling motors. I hope you have found it educational and have learnt something new. A trolling motor is a great additional to any anglers arsenal. It gives you more range, with a new quiet technology.

My recommendation is the Minn Kota due to their highest quality of construction.

For any expensive piece of electronics like an electric motor we always recommend choosing a reputable manufacturer with a history of good customer service and a solid warranty.

To get the most out of your fishing kayak you will need the best equipment, including a spinning rod, tackle box, lures, and even a multitool, but a trolling motor is a luxury that will eliminate a lot of hard paddling.

If you have any words of wisdom or questions, then please leave a comment below.

Let’s go fishing!

Last update on 2022-08-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Photo of author

Captain Russ Egan

Captain Russ is an avid fisherman. He has fished all over the world for more than two decades, primarily for saltwater game fish but also for local trophy fish. Russ writes reviews for all of his fishing gear to help others achieve their own fishing goals. His favorite reel is a Shimano Curado Baitcaster. His dream is to catch a Black Marlin.